No More Helmet

We got the word yesterday that the helmet is out of here! Since September 19th Benny has had to wear a helmet to correct the flat spot on the back of his head. See all my past reports here.

Yesterday we got the good word that we are done! He will just need to wear it when he sleeps for a little while longer, but no longer during the day! We are so happy!

Going from this

To this
Makes one happy boy!


A man dies and goes to heaven. Of course, St. Peter meets him at the Pearly Gates.

St. Peter says, "Here's how it works. You need 100 points to make it into heaven. You tell me all the good things you've done, and I give you a certain number of points for each item, depending on how good it was. When you reach 100 points, you get in."

"Okay," the man says, "I was married to the same woman for 50 years and never cheated on her, even in my heart."

"That's wonderful," says St. Peter, "that's worth three points!"

"Three points?" he says. "Well, I attended church all my life and supported its ministry with my tithe and service."

"Terrific!" says St. Peter. "That's certainly worth a point."

"One point!?!! "I started a soup kitchen in my city and worked in a shelter for homeless veterans."

"Fantastic, that's good for two more points," he says.

"Two points!?!!" Exasperated, the man cries. "At this rate the only way I'll get into heaven is by the grace of God."

"Bingo, 100 points! Come on in!"

I sure am thankful for grace!

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9

180 Newsletter

For the last four years I have been publishing a weekly email newsletter sent out to all students, staff, and parents of 180 Student Ministries. Beginning this week the newsletter has been moved to the web in the form of a blog.

If you are a student or parent of 180, or are just interested in keeping up with the latest 180 happenings, along with other interesting articles, web sites, etc., I invite you to check it out.

It can be found at and will be updated each Monday.

Happy reading!

On The Move

Benny is now pretty much a full time walker! He started flirting with the idea on January 8, and as of January 24th, he is now on the go!

Now that he's on the move....we're all on the move!

Please be patient it may take a little while to load.


There was an earthquake here in Portland today and I missed it! Do-oh!! See the story here.

Had a great day though up on Mt. Hood tubing with our students! Snowed the entire time we were there. Incredible!

Fun times. I wish I would have felt the quake though!

Young Minds

As I have said before, I love my job! Last night was a night that made me think to myself once again how much I enjoy what I do.

In my middle school boys small group we were discussing the story of Joseph. I read the part of the story, found in Genesis 37:2-11. It is the section in which Joseph angers his brothers and father by sharing with them the dreams he had been having. Dreams that suggested that someday they would all bow down to him.

I then asked if they remembered the rest of the story and could recount it for us. One of the guys quickly spoke up and shared how Joseph was then taken by his brothers, who then staged his death (eaten by a lion), and then thrown into a well, in which he then floated downstream in the underground river to Egypt where he was sold into slavery.

That isn't quite the way my Bible tells the story but it sure made for a good one! Are there underground rivers that flow from wells? Love it!

I am so thankful for the responsibility God has given me to disciple these guys. I am also reminded of the seriousness of leading young people in Jesus' strong words found in Matthew 18:5-6. As well as the words of James, "Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly." James 3:1

May I always be found worthy and responsible.

30 Hour Famine

Each February our ministry particiaptes in the World Vision sponsored 30 Hour Famine. Each year it proves to be a very strategic event in the lives of our students both personally and corporately as a group.

The needs of the world are so great and it is a priviledge to be used of God to help meet them. It is easy to become overwhelmed with the need and think there is nothing we can do, but there is.

Hunger in the world truly is a world crisis that sadly is overlooked by the popular media. Tragic events such as 9/11 to the tsunami in South Asia receive great attention and rightfully so, but there is so much more to be concerned about.

Did you know that hunger, disease and poverty are killing 29,000 children every day? - more than the tsunami every week! That is 10,585,000 last year alone! 20 people dead every single minute.

The annual death toll is more than 30 times higher than from the South Asia tsunami and 9/11 combined! It is time that this crisis gets the attention it needs. That is why we partner with World Vision each year.

We as a ministry will go hungry for 30 hours to experience hunger, albeit in a very small way. We will also spend time serving our community; this year at Northwest Children's Outreach. We will as well spend time considering this great need and how we might respond. Each participant is also raising money through pledges.

I have a great deal of respect for World Vision and have been partnering with them for well over 10 years. They are a very responsible organiztion committed to making a difference in the world.

Our famine will take place this year February 24-25. I would love to have you join us in this effort. If you would like to support us financially it would be welcomed! Any amount will help and will make a difference. If you feel the Lord leading you in this way please either email me or indicate your desire and commitment to join with us in the comment section of this post. Your giving will be tax deductable and a donation receipt will be provided. Your prayer is also very valued.

As our famine dates get closer I will post more. You can see pictures of last year's famine here.

Blessed Be The Name

In my previous post I asked the questions Why is it that we only refer to God as good when things are going well, or when God blesses us in some sort of way? Is not God good all the time? After a good discussion with my wife, Robin on this I have had some further thoughts.

To declare God's goodness in times of great trial is a very difficult thing to do. It is an easy thing when life is going well. It has been my experience though, that when I can declare God's goodness and remain faithful to Him in the darkest of times that I experience His greatest blessings!

Job, a man that experienced great trial and tribulation, certainly experienced this. I love his statement in Job 1:21, "...The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD." We must be in the habit of blessing His name even in the darkest of times. Job did this and he experienced blessing beyond what he could imagine!

"...the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before. All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the LORD had brought upon him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring. The LORD blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first..."
(Job 42:10-12)

Do we only bless His name and declare His goodness in difficult times so that we experience His blessing though? No. We do it because He is indeed good!

I really appreciate the Matt Redman song, Blessed By Your Name. It is a great worship song; a song that if we are honest, is difficult to sing at times. I believe it captures well what God desires of us.

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

Thank you God for your goodness!

The Words We Use

I have been thinking a lot lately about the words and phrases we as Christians use. I believe so many of the things we say really need to be looked at and really thought through. So many of them do not accurately capture who God is and the way He desires us to live our lives.

Here are some examples...

When something good happens in life we often say, God is good. Why is it that we only refer to God as good when things are going well, or when God blesses us in some sort of way? Is not God good all the time? I think we need to also be able to acknowledge and say that God is good even when life is at it's worst. When our life hits rock bottom, God is still good.

When we pray and ask God to work in some specific way and we see God do so, we often say, God answered my prayer. Does God only answer our prayer when we get the things we pray for? If we ask for God to heal, or provide or protect, and He chooses not to, does that mean He did not answer our prayer? I would say no. He did answer our prayer, just not the way we had hoped He would. God always answers our prayer.

When we come together as the church to worship we often say we gather to worship. If we are truly living out the words of Romans 12:1 we are always worshipping. Our very lives should be lived out in worship. Perhaps a better way to describe what we do corporately as the church is as we worship, we gather.

Also in regards to our worship gatherings, sadly we as the church often refer to the singing portion of a worship service as the "worship." Worship is so much more than singing. Our fellowship with one another is also worship, our attentiveness to the teaching of God's Word is worship, our prayers are worship, our serving is worship. Worship should not be reduced down to a segment of the service, or a segment of our life, rather it needs to be our life in total.

Even the term service when referring to our corporate worship time is a term that I think needs to be rethought. Service denotes being served and even entertained. I think a better term is gathering. When we gather for corporate worship we are in unision together worshipping as opposed to coming together to sit and be served and hope that the service meets our needs.

Just some thoughts that have been rumbling around in my head lately. I want to be more conscience of the words and language I use.

Are there others that you have thought of?


Good bye hello Brian's Blog is now accessible at

The blogspot URL will still work, as the new address simply redirects to it; is just much easier to remember and share. Not to mention...just more fun!

Thanks for reading my blog!

Absolution of Sin?

I'm sure thankful that my God is available to me at all times. I am thankful that He paid the penalty for my sin and has offered forgiveness and grace to me!

I am thankful for the truth of Romans 10:9 "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

Well guess what? Apparently that isn't even needed for the forgiveness of sins now! Now you can go here and receive "absolution of sin". While there, if you have been desiring ordination, you can even have that done as well. Free instant ordination! Imagine that!

While there I decided to have my cat ordained! If you have need for professional ministerial services feel free to give her a call!

Smart Boy

Not only is he cute....he's smart! This is Benny, now 12.5 months, using his sign language to ask for more food!


Took the students snowboarding yesterday up at Skibowl. The way I see it, anytime you can take 30 people up the mountain to go snowboarding and it is incident free, it is a successful trip! We had a great time!

It was lightly snowing when we arrived and then cleared up and turned out to be a beautiful day and night. Aaron and I even caught ourselves doing a little worship on the mountain! Singing praises to God as you are flying down the slopes is pretty cool! God's creation is truly wonderous and beautiful!

Rez Band

Sarah Budd asked the other day on her blog if anyone knew of any heavy metal songs that dealt with social justice. Apparently a prof of her's said that they do not exist. That of course got me thinking, and thinking about one of my all time favorite bands...Resurrection Band, also called Rez Band.

They are a hard rock/metal/blues band and were in their prime in the 80s and early 90s. Much of their material dealt with homelessness, racism, AIDS, and the plight of the needy in general. Their discography includes 20 albums!

What I like so much about them is they are a band that lives out their message. They are part of a community in the inner city of Chicago called Jesus People USA (JPUSA), a community committed to the needs of the poor, abused, and needy. They are a people that are committed to living out the mandate of Jesus in Matthew 25 in which Jesus instructs us to minister to the needy. Prior to college I even considered being a part of the minitry of JPUSA.

Rez Band and JPUSA are also the force behind the Conrnerstone Festival, one of the largest music/ministry festivals in the country. It is held each summer in both Illinois and Florida. If there was ever a festival I wanted to go to, this is the one!

Are their any other Rez Band fans out there? What were some of your favorite bands/artists during the 80's and 90s?


Last night our High School Ministry had our monthly Second Wednesday Worship. It was a powerful night of worship as we sought the Lord together in prayer.

I love the times of high energy and activity with our students, but I love just as much the times of quiet reflection and seeking of God. Last night was just one of those nights. One thing I know....we really ticked off our enemy, the devil, last night!

I enjoy very much corporately worshipping the Lord through song like we do so much of the time in church, but it is times like last night when we together as a community are seeking and worshipping God in many different forms at one time that I really get excited!

At any given time last night, at different prayer stations, students were praying for the needs of others in our group, were praying for our Compassion Children, were praying for our Mexico Ministries, were praying for the leadership of our church, were writing out prayers to the Lord, were confessing sin to God, were praying for upcoming events within our ministry, and praying for needs around the world in different countries.

I am convinced that we accomplished much last night. I want to be a better prayer. I want to seek the Lord in earnest prayer at all times, not just in times like last night. May we all remember that The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective (James 5:16).

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
2 Chronicles 7:14


What Would Jesus Have?

I just received an email from Beliefnet.Com. Why I received it I have no idea, but then again how is it that our inboxes get so clogged up with unsolicitated email anyway? Anyway the email shares the results of a recent poll they conducted.

Here it is...


In a New Beliefnet.Com Online Poll, 55% Vote That Jesus Wouldn’t Even Own an iPod

New York, NY – January 9, 2006 — Beliefnet, Inc., the leading multi-faith spirituality media company and online community, today announced the results of their online survey on “What Would Jesus Have on his iPod?” More than 55% of those polled voted that Jesus wouldn’t even own an iPod-- proving that even the “Digital Messiah,” Steve Jobs still has room for further converts.

The following is the complete poll results:

What would Jesus have on his iPod?

• Classic Rock - 11%

• Traditional Gospel - 7%

• Christian Rock - 13%

• Hip-Hop/ Rap - 3%

• Soul/ Funk - 4%

• Songs of King David - 11%

• Jesus would never have an iPod! - 55%

So you want to weigh in? What do you think Jesus would have on His iPod, if of course He had one.

I wonder what kind of iPod Jesus would even have?

Maybe He would have the iBelieve, the new iPod Shuffle cross cap. I kind of doubt it!

He Walks!

At 12 months and 8 days, Benny took his first steps last night! What a momentous occasion! The world will never again be the same....not to mention our house!

Three More Weeks!

Only three more weeks until the helmet comes off!

I have been charting Benny's helmet therapy progress on my blog since it began in September (Helmet report # 1, #2, #3, #4, #5).

Today we had an appointment and were told the good news....we're almost done! The doctor was very pleased with how things looked and said he should only have to wear it full time for only three more weeks. We are so excited!

After three weeks, he will only need to wear it for a month at night when he sleeps, and then we are done!!!

He will be one happy boy, not that he isn't happy all the time anyway!

Blessed iPod

Have you had your iPod blessed yet? Now you can!

Read all about it here. Pretty funny! Of course it's from Lark News, so please don't take it seriously. Just enjoy the laugh!

Think On This

"Truth without emotion produces dead orthodoxy and a church full (or half-full) of artificial admirers (like people who write generic anniversary cards for a living). On the other hand, emotion without truth produces empty frenzy and cultivates shallow people who refuse the discipline of rigorous thought. But true worship comes from people who are deeply emotional and who love deep and sound doctrine. Strong affections for God rooted in truth are the bone and marrow of biblical worship."
- John Piper

"Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." John 4:23-24

What I Desire For 2006

As I consider the new year there are two things that I desire for my life.

1. I want to be a better worshipper of God. I want to fully understand what it means to worship in spirit and in truth; to worship with my heart's full affection and my minds complete attention. I want to understand better what it means to offer my body as a living sacrifice. I want my worship to be holy and pleasing to God.

2. I want to remember and never forget all the ways God has blessed my life. I never want to forget that God has blessed me in order to be a blessing to others. To that end I repost a post I made in August after returning from Mexico. I repost it as a reminder to myself. I repost it as a challenge to others.


We are back from Mexico now. I along with 19 others spent a week in Mexico the first part of August. It truly was a powerful time for me as I know it was for the others on the team. It never ceases to amaze me how we go to give, and come away having received so much. I received much this year, from God.

It seems that going to Mexico every year, like I do, always works to re-calibrate my life. Let me explain. It is so easy to fall into the trap of living for the "American Dream." Our society engrains into us that "More is better." "Bigger is better." "He Who Dies With The Most Toys Wins." No where in Scripture do I read messages like this.

True confession time....I am guilty of living for the American Dream. Living in our culture, it is all too easy to slip into living "the dream" and not even know it. Spending time in Mexico, surrounded by such poverty, and yet such strong love, joy, and hospitality, I find my life re-calibrated to where it should be. This year I came home saying, "May I Never Forget."

May I never forget how most of the world lives. May I never forget how God has blessed me and my family. May I never forget how "easy" life is for me in the U.S.. May I never forget why God has blessed me with what He has blessed me with. May I never forget that the American Dream is a lie.

So feel free to ask me sometime what dream I am living for....the American dream or God's dream (desires) for my life. I want to live a life that honors God. I want to live a life committed to honoring God with the resources that He has given me. I want to live a life committed to ministering to the needs of people around me, both in my community and abroad.

Join me in living the REAL dream life!

Oh...want to see the pictures? Check 'em out here.

Life As Worship

(Link Now fixed. For those that tried unsuccessfully to listen to my message on Tuesday, it is now fixed. Sorry for the inconvience.)

Here is the audio of the message I preached on Sunday, January 1. It is entitled, "Life As Worship."

This message may also be found at my new Audio Messages page, along with other messages that I have preached.

You will also notice a link to this page on the side bar of this blog under Sites Worth Your Time.


I'm sure glad Jesus isn't like this!

Birthday Parties

What a blessing to share my birthday with Benny! We had a great day yesterday!



What a difference a year can make!